The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests stretch across the entire state of Virginia, neighboring the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. In addition to camping, visitors can enjoy fishing, mountain biking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding and photography.
Coal Miner’s Heritage Trail Loop and Pocket Park is located on a 30-acre swath of land where the Merrimac mining community once resided. Where a mining tipple, hotel, general store and residential housing for coal miners once stood is now an open greenspace and a wooden bridge leading guests into the park, the old mining entrance and some of the remnants of the old mining community. The park is an homage to more than 100 years’ worth of coal mining history in the region.
Heritage Community Park is a 169-acre section of land situated among rural communities and is a must-see for those who revel in observing wildlife across a variety of habitats ranging from lush meadows to floodplains. The many varieties of birds who are breeding residents of the park include the whip-poor-will, willow flycatcher, yellow-breasted chat and pileated woodpecker, with more than 120 species of birds having been documented at the site. The fall season is best for birding, due to migration. On any given day, visitors observe species such as the olive-sided flycatcher, blackpoll, palm and bay-breasted warblers, as well as migrant raptors.